Looking for her second title of the 2014 tennis season, Maria Sharapova faces Simona Halep in the finals of the Mutua Madrid Open, this according to an LA Times May 10 report. This women’s singles battle is scheduled for Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET (TV start time), will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel and streaming free on ESPN-GO.
Today’s meeting marks only the third time that these world-class athletes have met between the lines. It’s certainly worth noting that Maria Sharapova (Russia), the tournament’s eighth seed, looks to improve to 3-0 (lifetime) against the fourth-seeded Simona Halep (Romania).
The 4-time Grand Slam champion has yet to drop a single set against the world’s No.5, with (2012) wins at Indian Wells and Beijing. However, their previous two matches have been played on hardcourts, making this afternoon’s Madrid Open 2014 (clay-court) final unique in its own way.
Although “Masha” is looking for her first Madrid Open title, a USA Today report calls her the female version of Rafael Nadal (on clay). But is the 27-year-old Sharapova the “Queen of Clay” or is Chris Chase reaching a bit?
For starters, conventional wisdom suggests that Sharapova would have to win at least one more French Open title in order to even be in that conversation. In addition, while she’s dominated the WTA’s clay-court season over the years, she still hasn’t displayed a level of superiority over currently world No.1 Serena Williams.
Nevertheless, in this particular matchup, Maria Sharapova [-260] is a substantial betting favorite to defeat Simona Halep [+220] and capture her second straight title in as many tournaments. In addition, tennis oddsmakers are also expecting a long match, evidenced by the fact that the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 21½ games.
Following her victory over (#2) Li Na and (#3) Agnieszka Radwanska, can last year’s runner-up continue dominating on clay by upsetting the No.4 player in the world? Tennis fans cannot afford to miss what is sure to be a very entertaining clash. Watch Maria Sharapova take on Simona Halep this morning at 10:30 a.m. EST on Tennis Channel or via (Internet) ESPN live stream online.